March 31, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend With Simply Beautiful Eating

Is it Amandine or Almondine? Let me explain.

Amandine is a culinary term demonstrating a garnish of almonds. Dishes that include an “amandine” are usually cooked with butter and seasonings, then sprinkled with whole or flaked, toasted almonds.

Just to clarify, the term is often spelled almondine in US or Canadian cookbooks. No matter how you say it, it basically means sopped in butter and sprinkled with almonds which is absolutely fine by me.

As you may or may not know, my husband Steve is the C.S.O. of the household. (Chief Shopping Officer). He does the majority of the grocery and produce shopping on the weekends.

Although he is usually quite willing and cheerful about the excursion, here are some things that make him cranky during the experience.

1) Locating a product on the list – This is right about the time I get the phone call. Steve is wandering around in circles looking for the “said” item on MY LIST. I’m patiently guiding him through the store to exactly where it should be located. He arrives at the GPS point and tells me that “it’s not on the shelf”. To which I answer “it has to be, I saw it there last week”. To which he replies “it’s not here”. To which I reply “ask someone to look in the back for it”. TO WHICH he REPLIES “I asked and they said it’s discontinued”.
2) The “express lanes” – used for those who have 8 items or less or in most cases, those who cannot count.
3) The 15 other checkout lanes – with only two open and 10 deep with people and their carts preparing for an apocalypse.
4) The “Baryshnikov” shopping cart – you know what I’m talking about. The cart with an errant front wheel that pirouettes like a ballet dancer on crack.
5) A.R.R.S. – Aisle Road Rage Syndrome – A disease that is associated with the urge of knocking aside an AISLE BLOCKER. Those that feel they can cordon off an entire aisle for the purpose of aimlessly reading nutritional information on product labels.
6) The Super Market Social – If you were never invited to this V.I.P. event, ask Steve to get you IN. He always runs into SOMEONE who he knows while he’s there who says “oh hey, it’s so great to see you” and 40 minutes later cause another condition called M.F.Y.S. – Melting Frozen Yogurt Syndrome.
7) Items on SPECIAL – Each week we receive a local newspaper with “flyers”. I am not allowed to TOUCH his flyers until he has examined each and every one of them. He then makes a list of crap on SALE and informs me that IF I really want paper towels for $3.99 a six pack, I better get them myself because he’s not running to more than one store on the weekend. Nine times out of ten I forget to go and he reminds me that I have MISSED out on something big, something REALLY big.
8) The haul – There is always a mystery of how the final bill totals $263.47 worth of groceries and we end up going out for dinner because there is nothing to eat.
9) The checkout lady – who always asks, “did you find everything you need”? To which my husband always replies, “not according to my wife”.
10) Dislocated Shoulder Syndrome – my husband likes to demonstrate that it is humanly possible to carry ALL the groceries into the house in ONE fell swoop. This sometimes requires balancing items on his head, in his teeth and kicking the door open with his foot. It also results in a week long of belly aching because inevitably his shoulders have succumbed to falling out of their sockets from the shear weight of the 16 bags and laundry detergent he has transported from the car into the house in ONE trip.
11) Unpacking the groceries – This is the stage I offer my assistance and am denied because “I don’t know how to FIT them into a fridge that’s big enough to house food for 18 people. Apparently the technique of organizing produce is exactly the same as stacking the dishwasher – both of which I suck at.
12) The grocery list – Steve asks me to text him additional items that I would most likely NEED to use in a photo shoot and are imperative to include in a recipe. Please note the word IMPERATIVE.  While unpacking the groceries I will ask “where’s the Greek yogurt’? To which he replies “was it on the list”? To which I reply “yes, check the text I sent you”. To which he replies “OH”. “I guess I didn’t SCROLL down far enough”.
13) The Green Beans – my husband always purchases one or two vegetables that sit in the crisper for what seems like an eternity until he says “we really need to make those before they go bad”.



Here you have it.  Green Beans Almondine….Amandine……oh whatever….beans with butter and nuts.

Green Beans Almondine

– 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
– 3 tablespoons butter
– ⅓ cup sliced or slivered almonds
– 1 teaspoon lemon juice
– Season with sea salt if desired and a few grinds of fresh black pepper, to taste
– Additional lemon wedges for garnish

1) Cook green beans in a small amount of salted water until tender but still firm.
2) Drain and immediately immerse in a large bowl of ice water to blanch. This will help the beans remain beautifully bright green.
3) Heat a large skillet over a medium heat and add the almonds. Toast them by stirring constantly for about 30 seconds. You want them light brown but not burnt. DO NOT WALK AWAY…I’m serious here because I did and ended up with cremated almonds.
4) Add the butter and the lemon juice to the pan and mix with almonds. Add the beans and sauté for one to two minutes, or until all of the beans are coated.
5) Season to taste with sea salt and pepper and serve warm.

See you next week!

Simply Beautiful Eating

xx, Debi
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March 30, 2017

Unicorns are all the rage these days

You know it’s funny when a new trend catches on and you see it EVERYWHERE!  That’s how we are feeling about unicorns right now. They are all the rage, aren’t they?!

If you love this unicorn trend as much as we do then you’re going to squeal over the box that just went live in our shop. Check out the Magical Party in a Box. Oh Em Gee. How pretty?!

We partnered with a couple of our favorite vendors to include a few very extra special items in this box. Maypole NYC who we recently met makes hand crafted party decor and we fell in love with their unicorn themed cake toppers. They are so beautiful with the most perfect neon horns and they will last forever if you take good care of them! (just lick the cake off the sticks when you are done hehe)

Then there is One Stylish Party who recently started another craze with her stunning ballon garland kits! Owner, Tara Berger created a custom garland to match the palette we have going on in this box. The garland comes with a balloon pump and all materials you need to assemble which is so easy.

Now ready for this? We met a super talented face paint artist, Sheila Jordan. While working on this box we thought why not bring Sheila into the office for a little fun?! We asked Sheila if she could paint our faces! It’s so fun to have a face painter at a kids party BUT what about us grown ups! We want to join in on the fun…so we did. And check this out…could you die? How gorgeous is this face paint?!

You’ll find more fabulous items in this box such as a white ceramic cake stand that you can add to your entertaining collection as well as colorful star shaped plates and of course a confetti bomb.

Now you just need an excuse to have a party right? Well spring is here and summer is around the corner so let’s get planning!

Shop the Box here.
Photos by Maggie Antalek

xx, Seri
Party conversation
  1. Evie Jones

    Wow, I love this blog. It’s so colourful and pretty! I’ve been looking to build on my Wedding Planning skills and luxury event planning for a while now. I’ve come across a website that would be perfect to use, they’re called Scarlet Events! –

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March 29, 2017

Chef Luke makes Challah Bread Pudding

If there is one thing that Chef Luke absolutely lives for it’s challah. He loves making it, eating it, frying it up as fresh toast…you name it. So when we came across a Weelicious recipe for Challah bread pudding we thought mmmmmmm let’s make it!

Weelicious is our favorite chef for kids recipes. She uses healthy ingredients and her recipes are so easy to follow not to mention always delicious!

Luke’s favorite part of this recipe was ripping apart the challah…eating chunks of it while doing so. And my favorite part? EATING this pudding! It turned out so crispy and delicious. YUM!

Now you can watch Chef Luke in action making this bread pudding which would be perfect for a brunch or to serve to the Moms at your kids next playdate.

Recipe by Weelicious
Video by Maggie Antalek
Photos by Abby Copleston

xx, Seri
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March 28, 2017

Ginger & Jasmine Rosé Cocktail

I definitely drink a LOT of coffee, but I have always thought of myself as a loyal tea-drinker.  I studied abroad in England, where they have a whole meal focused around tea, but the love of tea started way before that.

I’m always looking for cool ways to incorporate tea into my cocktail recipes, so when I came across this recipe for Ginger Jasmine Rosé, I knew I had to try it out.  It even uses slices of fresh ginger, which is another one of my favorite ingredients, and perfect for helping to kick these pesky early spring colds.

Here’s what you need:

-1 cup of brewed jasmine tea, chilled
-unflavored vodka (I used Tito’s)
-sparkling rosé (I used our favorite, Babe Rosé)
-simple syrup
-fresh lemons
-fresh ginger, cut into thin slices
-fresh lemon juice
-fresh mint

Here’s what to do:

1) In your cocktail glasses, combine 2 oz. jasmine tea, a splash of simple syrup, a splash of lemon juice, and 1 oz. of vodka.

2) Stir gently with a straw or spoon.
3) Top off each glass with sparkling rosé.

4) Garnish with a slice of lemon, some slices of fresh ginger and a sprig of mint.

Sip, and enjoy!

Until next week…

xx, Abby
Party conversation
  1. Madeleine Bass

    Hi Abby! This looks great! I might suggest brewing the tea with the ginger in it, to really bring out the flavor, since I can’t get enough fresh ginger! Thanks for all of your ideas-I really enjoy them!

  2. Abby

    Thank you, Madeline! I will definitely try that next time :) So glad you enjoy the posts! Hope all is well with you

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March 27, 2017

For the Host Gift Box

Though it’s freezing cold on the east coast, it’s officially spring. We cannot wait to break out our open toed shoes and put on a flow-y dress but until then we are making all our spring party plans!

What’s on tap for us? Easter and Passover. I host Passover dinner which always involves a great deal of cooking, setting the table and then cleaning it all up. When a guest recognizes this by showing up at the door with a hostess gift, it makes me feel extra special and really happy.

It’s not always easy coming up with a gift for the host though. Sure you can pick up a bottle of wine or flowers but doesn’t it feel good to put a little thought behind a gift like this?

We are now offering the Host Gift Box filled with the cutest items that any host will love! You can buy this box and when it arrives on your doorstep it’s ready to be gifted. OR you can send it direct to your host if you want him or her to receive it in advance of the event.

Inside the box we’ve included a small, gorgeous bottle of rosé, pretty paper straws that your host can stick directly into that bottle of rosé, festive napkins and dessert plates, party blowers and a stunning wine tote from Nashchic.

Did we not just make your life SO EASY? You’re welcome.

Shop the Box here and Have a hoppy Spring!

Photos by Maggie Antalek

xx, Seri
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